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President Donald J. Trump’s appointment of Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser on February 20 was a good choice, according to Brian Torkelson ’17. Torkelson, a retired Staff Sgt., served in the Army for 10 years. McMaster was the first regimental commander that Torkelson served under in Tel Afar, Iraq.

The nomination of McMaster, who has served in both the Gulf and Iraq Wars, comes after the forced resignation of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn due to controversy related to his recent contact with a Russian official. As National Security Advisor, McMaster will be an important source of advice for the president regarding national security and foreign policy decisions.

“He wasn’t your typical commander,” Torkelson said. “He didn’t carry himself as if he was better than you, but as if you were equal. He didn’t make you feel inferior.”

Although Trump’s election has Democrats and Republicans divided, both parties can agree that the military is of great importance. If there is any Trump policy that most Americans can agree with, it is his plan to strengthen the military and to defeat IS. Considering his decades of military experience, McMaster is a sound choice.

“He is a competent, diligent leader that provided teamwork and initiative, motivation and the will to be successful…and the confidence to be a soldier,” Torkelson said. “He’s fair, he’s honest, and he’s not politically persuaded by either side.”

Torkelson also notes that McMaster has an open mind and focuses on the big picture.

“At the drop of a hat, I would follow Lieutenant General McMaster into any conflict,” Torkelson said.

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